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Using School Websites to Encourage Learning at Home

Learning at home refers to giving ideas and information to parents on how to help their children at home with homework and curriculum-based activities, decisions and planning. Research shows that families have the most significant impact on their children’s learning, development, health and wellbeing. Schools have a fantastic opportunity to empower parents with the ability to create a home environment that encourages and supports learning, particularly in literacy and numeracy. These positive initiatives will set children up for a lifelong love of learning.

Due to their wide accessibility, school websites and parent portals are ideal tools to encourage learning at home. Information provided by schools may be both publicly available (e.g. tips to encourage reading at home), or specific for a particular child or class (e.g. assigned reading for a particular subject). An important consideration when providing resources is ensuring that private, copyrighted or sensitive information stays protected. In this article we look at ways to utilise your school website to encourage learning at home.

Using your school website as a general resource hub

Because your school website is publicly accessible, information relating to learning at home should be of a general nature and not contain any private or sensitive material. Your school website is therefore best utilised as a general resource hub, where current and prospective parents can quickly and reliably access resources deemed appropriate and suitable by your school. Here are some ideas for general resources that your school website could provide:

  • Internal links to school resources outlining ways to encourage literacy and numeracy at home.
  • External links to general resources encouraging literacy and numeracy, such as the Victorian Government’s page on Supporting Parents to Continue Education at Home
  • External links to subject-oriented online resources, such as Wootube and FUSE
  • Information or links to services that children and/or parents can access for ongoing learning support

Using parent portals for specific tasks

A parent portal is a restricted area of your school website where parents can log in and safely access information regarding their children, such as progress updates, timetabling and classroom activity reflections. Because access is restricted, parent portals are an appropriate resource to post teacher-assigned activities that children can complete at home. Here are some ideas for activities that are suitable for posting on parent portals:

  • Information about current literacy and numeracy activities (outlines, requirements, resources, due dates, etc.)
  • Information about an ongoing classroom project
  • Ideas for extra-curricular activities to further extend their child’s literacy and numeracy skills

By having this information available on your school’s parent portal, parents are better informed about the specific learning that occurs in their child’s classroom. In doing so, they are also more likely to be directly involved in their child’s learning at home.

Conclusion

Learning should not be isolated to your child’s school environment. Encouraging learning at home is essential in developing your child’s curiosity, investigative skills and positive work ethic. School websites and parent portals are readily accessible and provide the platform to convey information and resources to parents that encourage a child’s learning at home.

Little Munchkin Digital works with schools to provide interesting and easy to access resources for parents. We also build customised, secure and safe parent portals to meet your school’s unique needs. Find out more.

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